For many, the festive season is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s when we take a break from work, spend quality time with our family and friends and show them just how much we care. Unfortunately, due to the economic climate we might not be able to spend as much as we’d like this Christmas, but fear not, we’ve put together this short guide on how to make the most out of this Christmas without breaking the bank…
Stay in touch
If you’re not able to visit certain family members this festive period make sure you stay in touch. A great way to do this is the humble greetings card. This simple, traditional gesture will let your loved ones know that you’re thinking about them this Christmas, even if you don’t get to see them. This Christmas you can save money on your greetings cards with this Hallmark.co.uk voucher code,which entitles you to 25% off personalised cards.
Make your own…
Christmas is the perfect time to get creative. There are so many products that people buy over the Christmas period that you could make yourself for a fraction of the price. Advent calendars are a prime example- make your own with some card and some miniature chocolates (or without if you haven’t got a sweet tooth).
Another item that is on near enough everyone’s Christmas shopping list is chocolates. Why not make your own truffles? For basic truffles you only need two ingredients; chocolate and cream. It’s then up to you how you flavour them. All you need is some quality dark chocolate, some whipping cream and whichever other ingredients tickle your fancy for flavour and decoration. Pop them in some festive boxes and use as gifts, or keep them in the fridge for the family.
Another fun and frugal activity for Christmas is to make your own decorations. Don’t spend a fortune on Christmas decorations, make your own. All you need is some coloured paper or card, glue, scissors and some creativity. You could also buy a pack of plain baubles and some glitter pens and decorate them yourself for fun, personalised Christmas tree decorations.
If you have a large family or a large group of friends, why not do Secret Santa? This means that you won’t have to pay out for individual gifts which will save you time and a substantial amount of money. Draw names out of a hat and choose a spend limit that ensures that you can buy a good gift which is affordable. You can then organise a time which is suitable for everyone to exchange gifts, which is a fantastic excuse to get together for a festive catch-up.
Does the thought of queuing up in packed shops fill you with dread? It might be time to start shopping online. Not only will you be able to shop from the comfort of your own home, you’ll save hours of your time, meaning you can spend it with your family instead. You’re also less likely to impulse buy like you would at the shops; there are no glittery displays to attract your attention, so you’re more inclined to stick to your list and not overspend.
Shopping online has other advantages too, such as getting your shopping delivered straight to your front door. You won’t have to carry heavy shopping bags around busy high streets. You can usually pick a time that’s good for you to get your shopping delivered too, making online shopping even more convenient.
Another advantage of online shopping is that you can make some fantastic savings. Many online retailers offer discount codes to use at the checkout which can get you money off your purchase, free delivery or a 2 for 1 offer.
Christmas nights out can be expensive; not only do taxi fares and entrance fees increase but it’s likely to be very busy and not to mention frosty outside. Staying in is certainly the new going out and can cost next to nothing. Invite your family and friends to your house to watch Christmas films, play board games and get into the spirit of Christmas. With the new wave of movement sensitive games consoles like the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Move and the Xbox Kinect, there is hours of fun to be had by playing sing/dance-a-long, sports and puzzle games. These games are usually suitable for the whole family and can really give your big night in the edge. Alternatively dig out the old family favourites like Monopoly, Cluedo or just a deck of playing cards and enjoy some traditional family-friendly entertainment.
Written by Rachael from the voucher codes team at MoneySupermarket.com.
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